ISTC and AFCONE agree on a Plan of Action to further boost their cooperation

On 25 March ISTC Executive Director David Cleave and AFCONE Executive Secretary Dr. Messaoud Baalioumer discussed in a videoconference and agreed upon a Plan of Action comprising several joint activities in 2022, in line and compliance with the Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) between the two organizations, concluded in August 2019, in Nur Sultan.

ISTC and AFCONE intend to organize a joint webinar on R & D on nuclear materials and nuclear energy, and a workshop on management of radioactive wastes and environmental remediation. They also will to convene an expert meeting on particle accelerators applications. One of the main objectives of the MoC is to provide support to African countries in capacity building through high-quality training in nuclear safety, security and safeguards. For the purpose a specialized training course is planned for the near future, building on the success of the last year’s course on transportation safety conducted jointly by ISTC - AFCONE. Equally, a joint meeting will be dedicated to the important theme of emergency response and preparedness.

The parties to the Plan of Action will continue to devote special attention to fostering cooperation and enhancing consultation mechanisms among the existing nuclear-weapon-free zones, particularly the zones in Central Asia and in Africa.

AFCONE and ISTC have a record of intensive interaction and cooperation. The two organizations established relations in April 2019 when Dr Messaoud Baaliouamer took part in the Second Joint Meeting of the SADC Nuclear Regulators Network in Arusha, Tanzania, organized by ISTC under an EU –funded project. Later in that year the ISTC Management, headed by Ron Lehman, Chairman of the Executive Board, became the first foreign delegation to officially visit the new Headquarters of AFCONE in Pretoria. In 2020 ISTC and AFCONE jointly pleaded before the IAEA Unit for Technical Cooperation with Africa in favor of increased and focused support to African States in nuclear safety and security, as well as in peaceful use of nuclear energy. Six virtual events have been jointly organized during the last two pandemic years.

The interlocutors also exchanged views on important developments in international cooperation, noting that several new projects of the European Union in support of nuclear safety and safeguards in Africa have recently been approved as follow –up measures to the sixth European Union - African Union summit, held in Brussels last month, at which EU and AU leaders agreed on a joint vision for a renewed partnership.